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20 francs 1855A Napoleon III France – SS Central America PCGS MS61


Obverse: bare head emperor right
Reverse: date and value within wreath

Recovered from the wreck of the steamer ‘SS Central America’

The slab also contains a pinch of California gold dust recovered from the wreck

With your purchase you will receive a free copy of the book The Sinking of the SS Central America

The Sinking of the SS Central America

The SS Central America, known as the Ship of Gold, was a sidewheel steamer that operated between Central America and the eastern coast of the United States during the 1850s, at the time of the California Gold Rush. The ship sank in a hurricane in September 1857, along with 425 of her 578 passengers and crew and 30,000 pounds (14,000 kg) of gold, made up of coins and ingots.
On September 9, 1857, the ship was caught up in a Category 2 hurricane while off the coast of the Carolinas. By September 11 winds and heavy seas had shredded her sails, she was taking on water, and her boiler failed. Passengers and crew spent the night fighting a losing battle against the rising water.
Only 153 passengers made their way over in lifeboats. The Central America sank in the evening of September 12.


In stock

Additional information


6.45 g


21.0 mm


Near Mint State




Fr. 573